Michael Meacher, tribune of the people, not rich at all

Veteran Labour politician Michael Meacher left a fortune of £5.2 million – but debts of more than £1 million, the probate office has revealed.

After his outstanding affairs were settled, he left £4,181,811 on trust for his wife Lucianne Meacher and the four children of his first marriage.

Meacher, 75, died on October 20 last year after a career in the House of Commons spanning 45 years, serving under six party leaders.

Looks like it was all made on the taxpayer’s dime too, doesn’t it? Anyone know of him having another job than “public service”?

And does “in trust” mean no inheritance tax?

19 thoughts on “Michael Meacher, tribune of the people, not rich at all”

  1. His father was a stockbroker who took up farming for health reasons. It’s possible that Meacher inherited the money.

  2. Old brewing family, according to Wikipedia. Google turns up references to a Meachers brewery in Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire, which is only a few miles from Hemel Hempstead, where he was born.

    But I can’t help wondering how much the “little property empire” Andrew K mentions was helped by his House of Commons expenses.

  3. A TRUST?

    Filthy, capitalist, neoliberal lies!

    Never, ever would a socialist politician make use of a trust.

  4. He was an MP for 45 years, if he lived modestly the £70-odd-grand a year would build up to quite an amount without doing anything.

  5. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Comparisons with that other great simple man of the people, Donald Dewar who left > 2 million behind are just neoliberal sophistry-

  6. “In trust” does not imply no IHT. It is just a good way of providing for his second wife, while ensuring that she can’t leave any inheritance to the cats home, instead of to his 4 children (who are not hers).

    “Debts” sounds quite dramatic, but it probably represents mortgages on his investment properties.

  7. This will be somebody else whose tax affairs Richard Murphy can distinguish from the Dukes of Westminster past and present on the basis of humouring Richard Murphy and allowing the little wanker to suck up to them.

  8. “does “in trust” mean no inheritance tax?” No. Why? Do you think trusts have magic anti-IHT properties?

  9. As jgh points out he may simply have lived modestly and invested moderately well. At least it has to be an option if one is to believe that ordinary workers can save enough for retirement without massive state entitlements.

    That so much was left when he passed can be attributed to low, compared to the US, end of life medical expenses. Cross the pond and only debt would have been left for his heirs.

  10. “His father was a stockbroker who took up farming for health reasons”: didn’t Meacher once describe his father as a “farm labourer”? God, he was a twat was Meacher.

  11. From the Tel’s obit:

    The parsonical Meacher had incurred ridicule, and £80,000 in costs, in 1988 when he sued Alan Watkins of the Observer for asserting that he had falsely claimed working-class origins. Watkins’s counsel claimed that the public school-educated Meacher depicted himself as a farm labourer’s son when his father was an accountant who had retired to the family holding.
    Meacher in court described his origins as “modest” … After 12 days the jury agreed with Watkins.

    Later acquiring a second home in the Cotswolds, Meacher angered neighbours by seeking to fell 20 trees to create a tennis court, then in 1999 earned an instant slap-down from Blair for saying second-home ownership might have to be curbed.

  12. “In 1999 earned an instant slap-down from Blair for saying second-home ownership might have to be curbed.”

    But as he owned eight or nine he was fine. A gigantic hypocrite in the fine Socialist tradition.

  13. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Meacher was vile. Oily, pharisaical turd. He could have played the Rev. Obadiah Slope in am-dram and not even needed to get into character.

  14. His father was a stockbroker who took up farming for health reasons

    I would guess that this is the only time in the history of the world somebody has taken up farming to *improve* their health. I guess what he means is he owned some land.

  15. Liberal Yank: That so much was left when he passed can be attributed to low, compared to the US, end of life medical expenses. Cross the pond and only debt would have been left for his heirs.

    Of course. And it’s perfectly reasonable that a man who can pass on 4 million pound to his heirs should not have to disburse a single red cent for end-of-life medical expenses and instead have it all taken care of by taxpayers earning, what, on average, in the UK? 21,000 pounds or thereabouts? I guess Liberal means Greedy nowadays.

  16. Nice to see that even in his death, Meacher was true to his ‘socialist’ roots by doing his level best to perpetuate the inequality generated by inherited wealth…

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